All posts filed under: Culture

In Conversation With Ahmad Ikhlas: On Dub Poetry, Faith and Travel

“The first step is intention. Once that foundation is established then the balance will naturally follow.“ Read on as we catch up with Ahmad Ikhlas, an international dub poet, reggae and garage musician who draws on his Jamaican heritage and his British upbringing to form a unique style of music and poetry, used in praise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We are curious to know more about what led you to being a dub poet, reggae and garage artist? Could you tell us more about your developmental experience and the influences that shaped you to do what you do today?I grew up listening to reggae in it’s various forms Rock steady, ska, dancehall, lovers rock revival etc. I guess it’s part and parcel of growing up in a Caribbean household.  This genre had a strong influence on my style and delivery as a Garage MC which came as second nature and something I unconsciously perceived. I’d perform weekly on Pirate Radio stations and in clubs. When I became serious about practising my faith I gradually …

The Politics Of Being A Chinese Jamaican: An Interview With Howard Sun

Half of MZAB mag, Soraya met Howard whilst in a taxi in London. Read onwards to find out more about his his fascinating, life, heritage and culture Where are you from and what does your name mean? I was born in Jamaica in the year of the infamous hurricane Charlie but my ancestors are from the Pearl River Delta area in Guangdong Province of Southern China and they made their journey to the USA for a better life, during the goldrush in California in 1849.  My Surname SUN, in Chinese, means descendant. When did you move to London and what drew you to live here? I moved to London in 1978 having lived and studied Electronics in New York. Living in the USA was not for me and I returned to Jamaica after living for 7 years there. While working and doing some businesses, I met a girl from England, got married then decided to emigrate as things were getting quite dangerous. This coincided with a yearning to live in a more developed society which …

On Turkish Tea And Rumi: An interview With Döndü Kazankiran

Where are you from and what does your name mean? I’m from the Netherlands but my family is from Turkey. My name means “Return/turn”. There is actually a funny story about it which I would like to share. In the olden days when a Mother gave birth to a lot of girls, they would name the last born girl “Döndü” so the next child will hopefully “turn” its gender and be a boy. This tradition and name is popular in the middle of Turkey called Anadolu (Anatolia).  What has brought you to London? In 2015 I came to London to do an internship. I met my husband and fell in love with him and when I finished studying in The Netherlands I moved to London so we could be together.   What do you love about your culture the most? Even though I was born and raised in the Netherlands, my big Turkish family has always taught me about the Turkish culture and manners. What I love the most is our warm hospitality. This can …

On Nature and Gardening With Sally Hallywill

ON NATURE AND WILDLIFE  Sally Hallywill cares for the plants and wildlife at Lordship recreation ground in North London. Read on as we catch up on all things nature… I really like your theme of ‘sanctuary’, because it resonates so much with what I feel about the ‘outdoors’, and, at the moment, the specific places I choose to spend that time in. These are Lordship Rec, which I feel so fortunate to live near, and my shared house and land in France, where I started a small Orchard with a view to managing it organically both for the benefit of us humans who spend time there, but primarily for ‘nature’ to have a refuge from the extensive surrounding fields of industrial agriculture. This summer in particular I am also spending a lot more time with my sister and mother in south Norfolk, and enjoying the utter tranquility and wide open spaces around their village in the countryside. My main interest is not so much in ‘gardening’ – I sometimes describe myself as an ‘anti-gardener’, but in …